Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 1, Episode 7

Breakdown (13 Nov. 1955)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 730 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 1 critic

William Callew is involved in a bad traffic accident on a rural road, that leaves him so paralyzed he appears lifeless, and when help arrives they think he's really dead.

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(teleplay) (as Francis Cockrell) , (teleplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Breakdown (13 Nov 1955)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
William Callew
...
Himself - Host
...
Ed Johnson
Forrest Stanley ...
Hubka
Harry Shannon ...
Dr. Harner
Lane Chandler ...
Sheriff
James Edwards ...
Convict
Marvin Press ...
Chessy
Murray Alper ...
Lloyd
Mike Ragan ...
Escaped Convict
Jimmy Weldon ...
Guard (as Jim Weldon)
Richard Newton ...
Ambulance Driver
...
Road Worker
Harry Landers ...
Coroner
Elzie Emanuel ...
Black Escaped Convict
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Storyline

Mr. Callew, a demanding businessman, is resting by the beach when he receives a telephone call from a recently discharged employee. The man is in tears, but the unyielding Callew shows no sympathy, and hangs up on him. Later, when Callew starts to drive home, his car runs off the road at a construction site. When he comes to, Callew is paralyzed. Several persons come by, but he is unable to communicate with them, so they think he is dead. Fully aware of his predicament, he becomes increasingly terrified. Written by Snow Leopard

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Release Date:

13 November 1955 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Edward W. Williams won the 1956 Primetime Emmy for Best Editing of a Television Film for this episode. See more »

Quotes

[afterword]
Alfred Hitchcock: Well, that was a bit of a near thing. He reminded me of my own situation. Imagine, if you can, the terror of being inside a television set, knowing that any moment, the viewer may shut you off, and being powerless to prevent it. And I go through this every week. My only consolation is that some portions of our program are so fascinating, that they hold the viewer spellbound. Such an episode follows immediately, and then I'll be back again.
[commercial break]
Alfred Hitchcock: There, now. That really ...
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Referenced in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Hitchcock Classic
3 October 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is an episode that I saw when I was a small child. It involves a cold blooded businessman who fires a long time employee and then chastises him for his tears. He is a bitter, mean man who looks only at the bottom line. One day, driving impatiently, he is left in his convertible, paralyzed. Unfortunately for him, the only people around are a bunch of prisoners on a work detail. They loot his car and steal his clothes. They don't check on him. The entire episode is told from Joseph Cotten's mind as he attempts to come to grips with his situation. He hopes to have someone help him but realizes he has no way of letting them know he is alive. There are some real problems with the medical people who show up. Did anyone notice that there was no rigor and that his skin was warm. If he were dead, why did he look so fresh. Nevertheless, the point is made at the very end. A remarkable lesson here.


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